Game 40, Mariners at Indians

Dave · May 17, 2012 at 7:39 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Noesi vs McAlister, 9:05 am.

An early morning game against the Indians with a struggling starter on the mound? This is going to be a ratings bonanza for ROOT Sports…

Alex Liddi gets his first professional start in left field tonight after playing a couple of innings there last night. While I know that this is just about getting Liddi in the line-up a bit more often, it is a little strange that they’re using Liddi in left. If they wanted a right-handed hitter with some power who strikes out too much to play left field, they could just use Casper Wells, who is basically the outfield version of this skillset. There’s really no reason to prefer Liddi to Wells, especially not once you factor in the defensive difference. But, once the BABIP comes down and his line doesn’t look quite so shiny, I’m sure we won’t see this too often. It’s just a blip on the radar.

Ackley, 2B
Saunders, CF
Ichiro, RF
Seager, 3B
Smoak, 1B
Liddi, LF
Jaso, C
Carp, DH
Ryan, SS


131 Responses to “Game 40, Mariners at Indians”

  1. SonOfZavaras on May 17th, 2012 1:21 pm

    I swear this damned Cleveland team- doesn’t even matter who’s in the uniforms, what generation- is just always destined to make Mariner fans feel pain.

    This one hurts.

    16-24. With six games against the Rangers coming up SOON.

    We’re going to get bashed to pieces in May.

  2. jephdood on May 17th, 2012 1:27 pm

    Don’t order the BLT. The bacon is burnt, the lettuce is soggy, and the tomato is mealy.

  3. tdzyph on May 17th, 2012 1:30 pm

    How about Vargas, League & Figgins (we pay 9 million of the remaining monies owed) for Youkilis and a AA bat? Sox don’t need him anymore.

  4. jephdood on May 17th, 2012 1:37 pm

    Why would a team building on youth want a broken down old Youkilis?

  5. Westside guy on May 17th, 2012 1:41 pm

    Wow – now I’m *really* glad I had a meeting to go to.

    And believe me, I don’t say that very often.

  6. Swungonandbelted on May 17th, 2012 1:49 pm

    40 games in, on track for 97 losses (yet again), half of our offense hitting in the ~.175 – ~.225 range (yet again)…..

  7. pgreyy on May 17th, 2012 2:23 pm

    Are we snake bit or bad?

    I mean…today, we saw great pitching…we saw clutch hitting (even if we all know that doesn’t exist) and we saw a team come back from an emotionally devastating set back to re-take the lead.

    And then we lost.

    I think we all knew that this was not going to be our year…though, we all had hopes that we’d start to see some improvement…some lights in the tunnel. I still believe in the way that Z is trying to build this team.

    I’m not a Wedge fan, but I don’t think things would substantially improve just because you make a switch at manager. Similarly, I don’t think Figgins has any role on this team…but this team is beyond the point where simply cutting an albatross helps us fly.

    Felix has had a couple of bad games. Smoak hasn’t figured things out like we thought. Who knows what we actually have in Brandon League (or, really, ANYONE in our bullpen.) Some of our young talent is showing signs of promise while others are struggling.

    I honestly don’t know what you do other than go out each day and try to figure stuff out.

    (This is usually when someone chimes in to say that we need someone like Lou to kick his hat…but I don’t think that fixes anything.)

  8. dingla on May 17th, 2012 2:30 pm

    Well atleast its another pleasant day in the NW. Go M’s. There’s still hope.

  9. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 2:54 pm

    “Are we snake bit or bad?”

    I suppose it depends on the context, Pete. I think we are bad, but definitely good enough to win it all in the PCL. Probably.

    Hey, back to more important things: When you say you are “at home” awaiting your next gig, I don’t know what that means. Is your home base of providing comedic respite to others – within the Seattle area? Do you ever ply your trade in the Tri-Cities? We have electricity now.

    If you do ever make it this way – and if you can specifically work up a routine on how bad it is to be a Mariner fan these days, I will be there.

  10. Jon on May 17th, 2012 2:55 pm

    At least we don’t have Brandon Morrow. Good thing Jack Z got something for nothing in that deal. Wait, what?

  11. msfanmike on May 17th, 2012 2:57 pm

    Never mind, Pete. I clicked on your link. Seattle … home base … duh.

  12. zak24 on May 17th, 2012 2:58 pm

    I’m with dingla ^. This is painful. But we just have to stick it out. Good things are ahead.

  13. tdzyph on May 17th, 2012 3:27 pm

    Youkilis can hit and he is the veteran presence that Wedge won’t stop talking about, plus he fills the DH/1B role vacated when* we send Smoak to Tacoma. Your suggestion isn’t that we keep this team intact is it?

  14. pgreyy on May 17th, 2012 3:28 pm


    I’ve played the Tri-Cities a bunch…used to do the Crazy Moose in Pasco…and, more recently, just about every year I find myself at Jokers in Richland. I’ll let you know when that time this year comes around.

    As far as Mariners jokes, yes…I’ve written a few…or rather, they’ve written a few and I’ve just figured out how to tell them. 🙁

  15. SonOfZavaras on May 17th, 2012 3:42 pm

    Youkilis can hit and he is the veteran presence that Wedge won’t stop talking about, plus he fills the DH/1B role vacated when* we send Smoak to Tacoma. Your suggestion isn’t that we keep this team intact is it?

    I doubt very much they send Smoak to Tacoma. He has nothing left to learn against AAA-level rag-arms. He solves his problems here at the ML-level. As for Youk…bad idea. All around.

    Yes, the suggestion IS that we keep this team largely intact- once we determine who’s a player and who isn’t for us.

    As frustrating as what this quarter-season has been, this ’12 season was all about getting data. With no guarantee that we’d like the vast majority of data that we got.

  16. eponymous coward on May 17th, 2012 3:45 pm

    Good things are ahead.

    At some point, superior process either leads to superior results or you need to re-evaluate whether or not your process is superior.

    It’s getting rather old to blame everything on Bill Bavasi and say that current management bears no blame on why this organization is where it is, going on four years since Bill Bavasi had anything to do with this roster, and nearly complete roster turnover.

    This isn’t to say “fire Jack now” and time to get out the pitchforks and torches… but the clock is definitely ticking on this, and this organization isn’t all much closer to actual contention in the AL than they were in May 2010. The best position player on the team is pushing 40 and is about to hit free agency. There’s nobody who’s clearly an ~average MLB player at 1B, CF, LF (or in RF to replace the HOF RFer about to hit free agency). There isn’t a clear replacement in the origanization for the no-hit SS, who’s 30 (a decent player, but still). While the M’s have some talented arms coming up, as we can see, pitching prospects are some of the most variable kinds of prospects out there. There have been questionable trades (Fister, Morrow) and free agents (Olivo), as well as managerial issues (Wakamatsu and Wedge)/front office problems (Lueke).

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that Zduriencik’s a vast improvement on Bavasi. But that’s not the bar you need to cross when it comes to being a consistently excellent organization. You have to get a lot of things right, and I am not sure this organization has done enough towards that end with Zduriencik.

  17. GLS on May 17th, 2012 4:29 pm

    Well said eponymous.

    Why did we trade Morrow and Fister again?

  18. bookbook on May 17th, 2012 4:39 pm

    It’s days like these when it’s a bit hard to keep the faith, I admit.

    But… There are a lot of potential contributors in the minors, there are a few young players we can imagine as part of the next good Mariners team, and there will be quite a bit of roster flexibility going forward.

    I’d hate to see the M’s only win 65 this year… I hope this is a rough patch, not where we are.

  19. Flaco on May 17th, 2012 4:46 pm

    Is there any reason to be excited? Just another lame season where us fans are told to believe in something we can’t see. I’m old enough to remember being frightened by the cannon firing in centerfield. The aquisitions of way over the hill FA’s . A few future HOF’s and neverending hope. I don’t know how much more I can take. How is this year different than any other year?

  20. GLS on May 17th, 2012 5:14 pm

    It’s hard to keep faith, that’s for sure.

    I looked up team On Base Percentage today on Fangraphs and the Mariners were second to last, just above the Pirates. And yet Eric Wedge wants more aggressive hitters. Presumably, that doesn’t mean swing-at-anything hitters. I don’t know what it means actually. Maybe it’s just one of those things that Managers and Batting Coaches have to say to the media. But it would be easier to keep the faith if these guys would take a few more walks.

  21. zak24 on May 17th, 2012 5:20 pm

    eponymous you mention Fister and Morrow but fail to mention Vargas and League. You mention Olivo but fail to mention Montero. You mention Lueke but fail to mention Jaso.. Carp, Seager, Ackley. Clearly you are making the point that it is time to sound the alarm on the Jack Zduriencik administration, saying “ is going on four years since Bill Bavasi had anything to do with this roster.” isn’t that like saying it’s going on four years since George Bush had anything to do with shit that Barack Obama is still cleaning up?

    You fail to mention how before Jack Z we had one of the worst farm systems, and in 2012 we have one of the best farm systems

    If you want superiority look at Jackson. If you want results look at Milwaukee. The fact is it is still way too soon to put a grade on what Z has done in Seattle… especially for Armchair GMs like you and I.

    And finally: you mention Ichiro as if he is still producing like a hall of famer.. i believe his average dropped below .280 today. Which wouldn’t be terrible if he wasn’t a selfish clubhouse cancer who is best friends with the owner who has never even been to a game, and has tied Jack Z’s hands. We should be begging Z not to abandon us and our suspect ownership.. he’s doing fine chill out

  22. eponymous coward on May 17th, 2012 5:23 pm

    there will be quite a bit of roster flexibility going forward

    Zduriencik turned over most of the roster by 2011.

    And to be blunt, after hearing

    “we’ll have SO MUCH MORE salary flexibility when Sexson and Washburn are gone”
    “we’ll have SO MUCH MORE salary flexibility when Bradley is gone”
    “we’ll have SO MUCH MORE salary flexibility when Figgins is gone”

    It just gets old to keep hearing this year after year, without it ever actually happening. I’ll believe the Mariners are going to be serious about using salary as a method for improving the team, and that there will actually be jam today instead of tomorrow, when I see it happen.

    Part of the reason this organization is in the hole it is is they’ve had to lower salary by 30 million (in stages) AND rebuild the farm system simultaneously. What that’s meant is year after year of Jack bringing home slightly dented credenzas/baseball players during Large Item Pickup Day, and seeing the occasional success (Branyan), and frequent failures. Instead of getting Edwin Jackson, we get Kevin Millwood… and so on.

    Oh, and if you look here and scroll down a bit:

    You’ll see that the team is slated to have ~10 million in free salary (estimating that next year’s roster costs around $70 million, the salary budget stays similar to 2012, no resigning FAs, bringing back everyone who gets arbitration). That’s WITHOUT signing Ichiro- and if you say “sayonara”, that means you’re looking at replacing 3-5 WAR between the farm and the $10 million in free salary you now have (assuming you hold salary constant, which you might not- the M’s have cut salary consistently since 2008, why stop now?)… just to put together the same non-contending team talent level you have now.

    I suppose you could let Vargas and Ryan walk instead of offering arbitration, and get an extra 10 million or so… except now you’re replacing more like 6-10 WAR from the farm + 20 million in free salary to get you back to a 70ish win team, and needing even more to get more wins.

    It’s not a lot of fun being Cassandra in May, but this franchise isn’t in great shape, as much as we might like Zduriencik. There’s talent in the minors, but it’s by no means clear that there’s a path to contention if guys like Smoak are turning into bigtime busts.

  23. zak24 on May 17th, 2012 5:29 pm

    e coward: you’re the posterboy for glass-half-empty Armchair GMs everywhere

  24. Mariners2620 on May 17th, 2012 5:32 pm

    What is going on with Nick Franklin? He hasn’t been in the lineup for almost two straight weeks?

  25. BillyJive on May 17th, 2012 5:41 pm

    We send essentially the same players out there everyday hoping for different results. Does that seem dumb to anyone else?

  26. UnderTheClouds on May 17th, 2012 5:56 pm

    Replacing Wedge and Zduriencik will not address the root cause of this team’s miserable status: the Seattle Mariners simply have a very bad ownership group. I think it is one of the worst in pro sports.

    I remember in the mid-part of the last decade (2007?), when The Seattle Times published a lengthy article that was the centerpiece of their Spring Training preview. Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong proclaimed: “Hold us accountable!” if the team doesn’t win. Of course, that was and remains a hollow sentiment–an owner can do as he pleases, without concern of being fired. So I have to ask myself: What does holding ownership accountable mean? I don’t know. Fans will still support this team. Casual spectators, less concerned with the quality of play and the decade-long ineptitude of this organization will still enjoy a mid-July game, no matter the score. TV money will still flow in. Relocated fans of other teams can have a blast making Safeco a second Fenway Park or Rogers Centre. The beat goes on. 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. 2010 merges into 2011, which seamlessly melds into 2012. A GM proclaims he sees the light at the end of the tunnel and a manager talks about progress and holding players accountable.

    Safeco Field was lavishly financed by the taxpayers under the premise that a first-class ballpark would allow the Mariners to remain competitive. Not win all the time, or spend insane amounts of money on free agents, but remain relevant and competitive. I can think of several organizations, with roughly the same revenues, that do a far better job of running a competent operation. The Braves, the Giants (with the burden of paying off a self-financed park), the Cardinals–all mid-revenue teams that manage to stay relevant, even when they don’t make the playoffs. They don’t finish last 8 out of 10 years. I don’t think that’s because they’re luckier than the M’s.

    Mr Lincoln is a successful retired businessman–formerly a lawyer and VP at Nintendo. Maybe this is killing him inside and he just doesnt know what to do. I do believe that, at a very basic level, there should be some level of shame attached to the owners. Embarrassment that a civic jewel has been tarnished so thoroughly, and for far too long to be considered bad luck. That this string of last place finishes is a reflection of a lack of leadership of the owners, and perhaps the low expectations of the fans. Maybe attracting quality baseball people is especially difficult in this tucked away corner of the country? I don’t know. I am comfortable with believing that ownership’s failure is outside the margin of statistical noise, which leads me to conclude that it’s likely to continue.

    The current owners deserve an enormous amount of credit for saving the M’s from relocation in 1992, when many in baseball assumed it could never succeed in Seattle. Beyond that, I believe when drama surrounding Safeco’s construction passed, so did this ownership’s reason for owning this team.

  27. GLS on May 17th, 2012 6:00 pm

    “We send essentially the same players out there everyday hoping for different results. Does that seem dumb to anyone else?”

    Those are the players we have. The (presumably) positive aspect is that some of those players are at the early stages of their career growth curves. But some of those players will also be busts or, if not busts, not as good as we hoped.

  28. bookbook on May 17th, 2012 6:13 pm

    Should the M’s have signed Edwin Jackson this year (if he was willing)? Absolutely.

    Do they need to find a solid hitter or two? Yep, at the right price.

    Are Z and co. doing a reasonably good job overall? I think so.

    Ackley, Seager, Montero, Felix, Hultzen, Walker, Paxton, Pryor, 1 or 2 of Smoak, Catricala, Romero, Miller, Ramirez, Carraway, Noesi, the field… Could it be a core? Maybe so. It sucks, and it’s still going to take too much time, but better alternatives don’t abound.

  29. eponymous coward on May 17th, 2012 8:16 pm

    e coward: you’re the posterboy for glass-half-empty Armchair GMs everywhere

    Pretty much every team that isn’t managed by a brain-dead GM can point to some talent in the minors, and it’s not particularly apparent that Zduriencik is the best GM in his own division, let alone his league or all of MLB. (That being said, just being a very good GM could mean you’re BIlly Beane and the way you show how good you are is by your teams not being bad while your ownership spends $0.47 on player salary, instead of being winning hardware.)

    Just having some interesting minor league talent and having a pretty decent GM gets you to the starting line. It’s not the end point, so I don’t think it’s time to pencil in championships until they show up. Right now, I look at this team and see that importing Guti, Wells, Robinson, Carp and Smoak has netted us a precise total of zero MLB players that you’d say “yeah, he’s an average MLB player” to play OF or 1B- we’re essentially left with Ichiro being the only player in the org who’s shown he’s worth a damn at those positions, with all that group + Saunders as below average players (and that’s after giving Smoak 1000 plate appearances and counting). Not all of that is Zduriencik’s fault, but it’s going on four years. Is it really THAT hard to find a guy at a corner position who can post a .750 OPS from age 24-30 without costing you a ton of talent or cash?

  30. The_Waco_Kid on May 17th, 2012 9:38 pm

    I think if we stay on pace to lose 95 again, Jack gets fired at some point. I wouldn’t like it, but ownership needs to cover their asses, unless they are about to sell.

    The joke of it is, it’s possible Jack gets fired this year or next, but within a few years we contend with a bunch of players acquired on his watch.

  31. UnderTheClouds on May 17th, 2012 11:18 pm

    I don’t see Jack Zdurencik getting fired this year, no matter what, because I do not believe the ownership feels the need to cover their asses. The majority owner is 84 years old and lives in another country. The local minority owners, whatever their desire for a winning team, are not visible in their association with the on-field fortunes of the team. And despite the awful teams, the M’s have a remarkably strong income. There is no consequence to them or the organization if this is another 100 loss season, other than an incremental loss in attendance next year.

    I think the plan Z has put in place this offseason will be allowed to proceed unmolested, however it turns out. After this season, who knows?

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